5 ways to practice what you preach in writing

Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2016

D: Draft


I try to leave out the parts that people skip. ~Elmore Leonard

How many of you have ever turned in your first draft? I mean your first – you wrote, read, ran a spell-checker and hit “Send” without further consideration?

All of us have been on deadline, so I’m certain we’ve all done it. Or we had a writing assignment we hated and just wanted to get it over with.

But what about those first drafts we were really pleased with? When we felt we’d “been in the zone” and changing anything would destroy our work of art?

I’m almost always surprised when someone else wants to change what I’ve written. Sounds egotistical, but it’s because I work at my writing. Most of the time, I can make the case for leaving my words intact.

Sometimes, though, I know my ego is getting in the way of my judgment.

bulldog about editing

To keep my head in such situations, I ask myself:

  1. Now that I have some distance and objectivity from this draft, would I edit or rewrite if given the chance?
  2. Do I know the rationale behind the suggested edits, or am I just making this personal?
  3. What was the overwhelmingly compelling reason I abandoned my own rules of editing – those I apply to everyone else’s writing?
  4. Do the suggested edits speak better to the audience?
  5. Do the suggested edits better support the organization’s messaging and goals?

As writers, we’re all proud of what we do most of the time. Just be careful not to let that pride stop you from taking a break to look at your initial draft with the freshest eyes possible before you turn it in.

Please visit my fellow bloggers taking part in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2016.









One thought on “5 ways to practice what you preach in writing

  1. My first drafts are always horrible. I use them as a brain dump to get my ideas down on paper. Editing is where I spend most of my time. It can be hard to take other people’s edits or suggestions. Great tips on keeing the right perspective.

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